This is the last of a three part video interview I did with Hillary Clinton’s Senior Adviser for Innovation Alec Ross. (Watch the first and second videos as well.)
Here Alec looks ahead: Are other countries likely to follow State’s lead in ediplomacy, what are the implications for U.S. foreign policy when Secretary Clinton finishes her term and will ediplomacy efforts be pursued with the same gusto by the next Secretary of State?
Although the Taskforce on Ediplomacy at State was founded a decade ago, it was under the watch of Secretary Clinton that ediplomacy has really begun to spread.
Her public embrace of new technology (like her contribution to the Texts from Hillary meme) most visible in State’s rapid uptake of social media is just one part of the story. A mapping exercise of State’s ediplomacy efforts I recently undertook found over 150 officials at State headquarters working on ediplomacy across 25 different work areas. The uses it was being put to were also intriguing touching everything from arms control to counter-terrorism.
In the first video clip in this series, Alec said his goal for ediplomacy/21st Century Statecraft is to “bake it in to everything we do at State”. The mapping exercise mentioned above suggests that baking process is well underway. And, as Alec suggests at the end of this third interview, it seems hard to imagine the next Secretary of State would not continue the pattern of modernizing U.S. diplomacy.
There are areas where the French/American cooperation can be strong and immediate, especially when they share a common, precise goal like in the small, punitive strikes on Syria. But overall they won't have the same approach on a number of things.